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Ancient Rome step 1: Understanding the Information

Picture 1

c) Colosseum.

The site of ancient spectacles, the Colosseum, was designed in 70 AD in Rome for gladiatorial games and could be flooded to re-create naval battles.

Step 2: Spelling and Vocabulary

Exercise 1: Match a word with a picture (not all the pictures have their names!)

Plate 2

The Etruscan Art

  1. Etruscan temple 49

  2. portico 50

The Roman Art

  1. aqueduct 53

  2. centrally-planned building 55

  3. portico 56

  4. cupola 58

  5. triumphal arch 59

Plate 6

Historical Costumes

  1. Roman woman 7

  2. toupee wig (partial wig) 8

  3. stola 9

  4. palla, a coloured wrap 10

  5. Roman man 11

  6. tunica (tunic) 12

  7. toga 13

purple border (purple band) 1


Step 3: Punctuation and Logic

Exercise 1: Put capitals, hyphens, full stops and commas as needed in the following passages; the number of sentences is indicated in brackets.

  1. During the period of the Old Kingdom (3000-2400 BC.) the basic forms of art came into existence in Egypt. Architecture played the major role among them. At that time colossal edifices were built, such as the tombs of the Pharaohs - the pyramids - and the tombs of the nobility, upon the walls of which reliefs were carved. (3)

  2. The statue of Hyacinth, attributed to Pythagoras of Rhenium, is evidence of the realist features of Greek art in the first half of the fifth century BC. The famous sculptor gave the lean, supple body of the youth spatial life. Hyacinth is portrayed watching the flight of the discus with intense interest. (3)

  3. The distinctive feature of Roman art was the sculptural portrait. Roman sculptors, whose names are unknown to us, portrayed in marble with great realism their contemporaries: statesmen, philosophers, emperors, military leaders, and distinguished Roman men and women. (1)

  4. The Roman sculptors of the second and third centuries, not confining themselves to a realistic representation of man's external appearance, strove to reveal his inner world. They were in fact the originators of the psychological portrait. (2)

  5. From the very outset, clay and marble were the preferred materials for artistic creativity, human figures were the preferred subjects, and a pronounced sense of measure governed the forms that were produced. (1)

  6. The Archaic period (about 700-480 BC) saw a rise of all the arts throughout Greece. Perhaps the single most important development was the emergence of monumental stone sculpture, in the round and in relief. Compared with Egyptians renderings, the body is lifelike, becoming ever more so as sculptors acquired the ability to render not only how it looked but also how it moved. (3)

  7. If the Archaic manner of representation depicted the appearance of a subject with maximum clarity, artists of the Classic period (480-323 BC) began to introduce the realities of space, time, and character. The medium of sculpture reached its most exalted expression in the friezes, metopes, and pediments of the Parthenon in Athens. The aspects of human activity that Classic artists favored were those emphasizing human strengths: nobility in victory, valor in battle, restraint in mourning. (3)

  8. With the rise of Macedon under Philip II and Alexander the Great, the Hellenistic period saw the fields of creative energy displaced from the Greek heartland - Attic and the Peloponnesos - to the periphery, including southern Italy and Asia Minor. The great age of Athens was past. When the Romans conquered and destroyed Corinth in 146 BC, the transfer of primacy was consummated. (3)

  9. It was the Roman achievement to hold its vast and diverse domains by a formal system of laws. Moreover, by endowing the symbols of its jurisdiction with the qualities so ardently assimilated from the Greek world, they became an integral part of what is called Western civilization. (2)

Exercise 2: Arrange the sentences logically within a passage.

  1. The basic theme of the classical period is the portrayal of the athlete, the bold, valiant defender of his native town, as well as the representation of the gods who personified the wealth and power of the state. The most eminent Greek sculptors during the Golden Age were Myron, Polyclitus, and Pheidias. Myron, who worked in bronze and whose work survived only in Roman copies, was the creator of the famous statue Discobolus.

  2. The name of Pheidias is associated with the imposing architectural and sculptural ensemble of the Acropolis in Athens. In this city in the fifth century BC there was erected the marble temple of the Parthenon in honor of the goddess Athena. The temple was adorned with a statue, twelve meters in height, of Athena Parthenos; her clothes and armor were made of gold, the face and hands of ivory. The works of Pheidias have not survived. The Roman copy of a fifth century marble statue of Athens gives us some idea of Pheidias's style; the warrior goddess is portrayed in a calm, majestic pose, leaning against a spear, her head is crowned with a helmet, and the dress, descending in a series of folds, emphasizes the grandeur of the frontally portrayed figure. This representation personified the unshakable power of the Athenian state.

  3. The marble group called Heracles Slaying the Lion of Nemea is a reduced-size copy of a bronze sculpture by Lysippus from a series devoted to the twelve labors of Heracles. The powerful figure of Heracles and the body of the beast are represented in such a way that the group can be viewed from all angles. The sculptor depicts the climax of the duel between man and beast. Heracles is strangling the lion, which, as its strength is sapped, sinks down onto its hind paws. The extent of Lysippus's creative scope can be seen from his sculptural portraits. His work crowned the achievements of Greek art of the fifth and fourth centuries BC.

  4. The qualities that characterize the art of ancient Egypt - such as rigidity of pose and the use of contradictory perspectives in portraying the human figure - remained consistent for the greater part of Egyptian history. They originated in the Early Dynastic Period (about 3000 BC.) and still exerted a powerful influence long after the conquest of Egypt, first by Persia, then by Macedonia, and finally by Rome. Significant differences appear from period to period, but the reason why a consistent aesthetic endured for some three thousand years lie in the Egyptian conceptions of time and space, which can be linked significantly with the physical setting that gave birth to one of the most splendid civilizations of the ancient world: the Nile Valley.

  5. Egyptian art reflected and reinforced the attitudes of the Egyptians towards their physical and spiritual environment and was intimately related to the hieroglyphic system of writing, along with which it developed at an early period. The predominance of funerary objects, which may foster the misapprehension that the ancient Egyptians were obsessed with preparing for their burial and with the preservation of their bodies, is to some degree an accident of Egypt's geography: the desert - where funerary monuments were erected - offers an ideal climate for the preservation of artifacts. But an intense concern for the afterlife certainly permeated the ancient Egyptian culture and initiated many important works of art.